Surge Pricing at the Drive-Thru

Fast food giant Wendy’s is considering changing its prices throughout the day, similar to how Uber charges more during peak hours. This idea, known as dynamic pricing, will be tested at Wendy’s locations in 2025. The company is spending $20 million on new digital menus for its US restaurants that allow for the changing of prices based on how many people want specific menu items at a certain time.

Wendy’s CEO, Kirk Tanner, said that the new menus will use technology to suggest items and change offers based on the time of day, enhancing the customer experience.

Wendy’s ensured that this plan is designed to offer discount prices during slower times throughout the day. In a blog post, the company said they, “would not raise prices when our customers are visiting us most… Any features we may test in the future would be designed to benefit our customers and restaurant crew members.”

The new menus were first showcased in a new store design in 2022, and have already begun appearing in select drive-thrus. These digital menus are able to talk, change prices quickly, and make suggestions to customers. Wendy’s hopes this will increase their selling power. McDonald’s is trying something similar, but the inconsistent changing of prices has made some customers unhappy.

If Wendy’s plan works, other fast-food places might implement surge pricing as well.

About James Cannon

James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]